When is something too old and worn to keep enjoying? I thought about this when I decided to start tidying up the garden for winter. We've had such a warm autumn that I still have blooms everywhere, but the forecast suggests the first frosts are on the way.
This shirt was at the top of my pile of garden clothes, most of which are cast-offs from Theo's high school skate-boarding days (those pants must have iron in them, and they have lots of pockets, some with zippers, perfect for the garden.) My father bought the shirt for me when I was in high school; I will never forget going shopping with him at Bob's Sports in downtown Stamford. I think it may have been the only time we ever went clothes shopping together.
My father is a great person to shop with because he is impulsive, never makes lists, and feels anything he wants at that moment is what he'll buy. This perhaps explains why he does not often shop. That day I came home with the beautiful apricot colored man's shirt for myself, and a camel colored wide wale corduroy jacket. In those days it was quite cool for women to wear men's clothing--with miniskirts or bellbottoms, of course. I think I wore that jacket every day for the next fifteen years; it has disappeared, sadly. But I still have the shirt, which is coming undone. It is past mending, and I try to remember not to put it on to go to the post office where I might bump into people I know.
But I wear it in the garden all the time. I cannot bring myself to get rid of it. And why should I? Until the back splits, and the holes in the elbows spread to my shoulders, I think I will hold onto my shirt. It always makes me remember that shopping spree with my dad.